Depths of Spring
Award winning photo plunges Depths of Spring
They say a picture tells a thousand words. We spoke to award winning Cambridgeshire photographer James Thomson to find out exactly what those words are.
Every photo has a story to tell. In fact, some have more than one yarn to weave. James Thomson's award winning photo, Depths of Spring, not only reveals the struggle of a Fenland horse breeder, but also the mechanics of being the man behind the camera.
James, who was brought up in Fen Drayton, is now developing his photographic skills at the Newport School of Art Media and Design at the University of Wales - a course James is indebted to - and has recently scooped a national award for his Fenland photography.
"It was to produce something beautiful in black and white," James said when asked what the award entailed. "I had this picture that I'd taken of a horse breeder called Gordon Bailey out in Willingham."
The photo itself captures the moment when untamed horses are released by Gordon for the first time. The black and white tones depict droplets of water and flaying horse manes in a dramatic pose.
"It does demonstrate what black and white can do as far as tonal values go. You have all this water kicked up by the horses. To see that was pretty incredible and I think that comes through when you look at the photograph."
Untrained horses charging through a field. It's dramatic, but surely it's a little dangerous?
"They've been known to kick people into the bushes when they get a bit worked up, but I had a stick with me."
Oh, so that's alright then.
Gordon Bailey by James Thomson
James continued to document the life of Gordon and his family through his photography and has shared his thoughts and images with us on the BBC Cambridgeshire website.
"He's pretty much dedicated his entire life to breeding these Percheron horses. He's made a living out of it and I think he's reaching that age where it's becoming more difficult to put in the kind of time that you need to."
"It's a shame because he's had that farm in his family for the last hundred years. Which is pretty heart-breaking because he has his horses but to lose land like that, it must be difficult."
Even more difficult when there's a lens following your every move?
"You're pushing a camera in someone's face when they're going through one of the hardest patches of their lives and your job is to record those emotions."
"You try and make yourself invisible and not interfere with what's going on but you become quite involved with what he's going through."
last updated: 12/02/2008 at 16:43
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